Strike looming over poverty wages and miserable pay offer at Etel Limited

15 June 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

Strike looming over poverty wages and miserable pay offer at Etel Limited

Workers at Auckland company, Etel Limited will take strike action tomorrow in protest over the company’s low pay offer.

Etel, which manufactures power transformers is owned by power company, Unison which last year made a profit of $24.6 million.

Workers have been offered a pay rise of just 40 cents an hour – compared with a 5% pay rise over 2 years recently agreed for Unison’s own workers.

E tū organiser, Dayna Townsend says most members earn between $17.00 and $18.80 an hour.

“We’ve been in negotiations for six months and all Etel will offer is an extra 40 cents on these extremely low wages and people are fed up. They can’t live on what they earn and they’ve had enough,” says Dayna.

“We’ve got members who rely on overtime because they can’t make enough money, but now they’ve pulled the overtime.

“Many can’t make it from pay day to pay day.  Some of them do two jobs and even three – and that’s not just one or two. They work at night and their wives are working during the day so they never see each other.  They don’t see their kids.”

Dayna says last year Etel bought a plant in Indonesia “so they’re not short of money.”

Dayna says the strike is well-supported with more than 90% of Etel’s 180 workers voting for strike action.

She says workers are seeking the Living Wage of $20.20 which the company has refused to consider, and a skills-based pay scale which the company has refused to put into the agreement.

The workers will strike from 6am Friday until 2am on Saturday with a picket outside the company premises on Rosebank Road between 7am and midday tomorrow.

ENDS

For further information, contact E tū organiser, Dayna Townsend ph. 027 590 0070

 

Where: 550 Rosebank Road, Auckland

When: Friday 16 June, 7am-midday.

 

Etel Limited is owned by Unison, a subsidiary of the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust.

Unison turned over $60 million last financial year, posting a profit of $24.6 million.

Etel supplies more than 75% of New Zealand’s transformers and also exports to Australia.